Caine Prize 2019 Judging Panel Announced

19 December 2018

Caine Prize 2019 Judging Panel Announced

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The Caine Prize for African Writing has announced its panel of five judges for 2019. Their decision will be of particular significance in the history of the Caine Prize, which next year marks its 20th anniversary, celebrating two decades of championing, developing and promoting African literature.

Serving as the Chair of Judges is Kenyan author Dr Peter Kimani, whose 2017 novel Dance of the Jakaranda was named as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and was nominated for the 2018 Hurston-Wright Legacy Awards.

He will be joined on the judging panel by Sefi Atta, Nigerian author and playwright shortlisted for the 2006 Caine Prize; Margie Orford, acclaimed author hailed as the “queen of South African crime-thriller writers”; Olufemi Terry, Sierra Leone-born author and winner of the 2010 Caine Prize; and Scott Taylor, professor and director of the African Studies Program at Georgetown University, USA.

Collectively, the panel brings a wealth of experience to the judging process, as outlined below:

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Full biographies of each judge can be found on our website HERE.

Commenting on the 2019 panel, Chair of the Caine Prize, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley, said, “We are privileged to benefit from such an esteemed panel of judges, and it is fitting that they will have the honour of deciding the winner of the 20th Caine Prize. I am sure Peter Kimani will make an excellent Chair, and I wish all the judges every success in deciding our shortlist in 2019”.

The deadline for submissions to the 2019 Caine Prize is 31 January.

Publishers are encouraged to submit qualifying stories in good time. Submissions are welcome year round and late submissions will be entered in to the competition for the following year. The 2018 Caine Prize was awarded to Makena Onjerika for her short story “Fanta Blackcurrant”, published in Wasafiri (2017). You can read “Fanta Blackcurrant” here.

In addition to works originally in English, publishers are encouraged to submit published translations of work in to English for consideration.

The judging panel will meet to determine which entries will make the shortlist, with an announcement on their selection to be published in May 2019.

For the third time in the 20 year history of the Caine Prize, the award will be announced at Senate House, London, on Monday 8 July, in collaboration with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).



Notes to Editors   

The Caine Prize, awarded annually for African creative writing, is named after the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc and Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee for nearly 25 years.

The Prize is awarded for a short story by an African writer published in English (indicative length 3,000 to 10,000 words). An African writer is taken to mean someone who was born in Africa, or who is a national of an African country, or who has a parent who is African by birth or nationality.

The African winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Wole Soyinka and J M Coetzee, are Patrons of the Caine Prize. Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne is President of the Council, Ben Okri OBE is Vice President, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley is the Chair, Adam Freudenheim is the Deputy Chairperson and Dele Fatunla is the Administrator.

Previous winners are Sudan’s Leila Aboulela (2000), Nigerian Helon Habila (2001), Kenyan Binyavanga Wainaina (2002), Kenyan Yvonne Owuor (2003), Zimbabwean Brian Chikwava (2004), Nigerian Segun Afolabi (2005), South African Mary Watson (2006), Ugandan Monica Arac de Nyeko (2007), South African Henrietta Rose-Innes (2008), Nigerian EC Osondu (2009), Sierra Leonean Olufemi Terry (2010), Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo (2011), Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde (2012), Nigerian Tope Folarin (2013), Kenyan Okwiri Oduor (2014), Zambian Namwali Serpell (2015), South African Lidudumalingani (2016), Sudanese writer, Bushra al-Fadil (2017), and Kenyan, Makena Onjerika (2018).

The Caine Prize anthology comprises the five shortlisted stories alongside stories written at the Caine Prize workshop, and is published each year by: New Internationalist (UK), Interlink Publishing (USA), Jacana Media (South Africa), Lantern Books (Nigeria), Kwani? (Kenya), Sub-Saharan Publishers (Ghana), FEMRITE (Uganda), ‘amaBooks (Zimbabwe), Mkuki na Nyota (Tanzania), Redsea Cultural Foundation (Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and UAE), Gadsden Publishers (Zambia) and Huza Press (Rwanda).  Books are available from the publishers or from the Africa Book Centre, African Books Collective or Amazon. The 2018 anthology was titled Redemption Song and Other Stories.

The Caine Prize is principally supported by The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, The Miles Morland Foundation, The Carnegie Corporation, the Booker Prize Foundation, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, the Royal Over-Seas League, and John and Judy Niepold.  Other funders and partners include The British Council, Georgetown University (USA), The Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice, The van Agtmael Family Charitable Fund, Rupert and Clare McCammon, Adam and Victoria Freudenheim, Arindam Bhattacherjee, Phillip Ihenacho and other generous donors.


May: Shortlist announced
8 July: Winner announced

For more information
Henry Gilliver
020 7922 7719

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